Stephan Lieffers works as Sr. Logistic Consultant at Ultimate Maritime Logistics since December 2021. In this blog, he talks about his work background, the role he plays within the company and what he finds interesting about his job.
"I started a long time ago as a transport planner for both general cargo and refrigerated transport. From that role, I moved on to the IT department as a system administrator and eventually developed into a consultant for both Transport Management Systems (TMS) and on-board computers for trucks. After that, I worked as an IT consultant in an IT department and implemented Dynamics 365. In December 2021 I ended up at Ultimate Maritime Logistics".
"I was approached via LinkedIn to come and work for Ultimate Maritime Logistics. I wasn't looking for a new challenge at a different workplace, but their product, the combination of Dynamics 365 with a focus on the maritime industry, really appealed to me. This sector is completely new to me, but a nice addition to my experience in road transport. That's what made me decide to join Ultimate Maritime Logistics".
"I was initially hired by Ultimate Maritime Logistics to take care of the road transport part of maritime logistics. My job is to execute implementations of Dynamics 365 at customers. I am responsible for instructions to customers, creating the functional descriptions and giving workshops and training sessions. At the moment, I am giving workshops to customers where we are implementing Dynamics 365".
TMS & Dynamics 365
"I am also working with an existing customer to create an integration from Dynamics 365 to a TMS system (Transport Management System). This TMS system allows you to record all transports and is specialized in road transport, sometimes multimodal, so in combination with train or sea transport. You can combine this data with rates and orders. The system links up with the on-board computers of trucks. This information cannot be recorded in the standard Dynamics module, but you can integrate these systems, so that a company has everything in one place".
"Ultimate maritime logistics has developed an add-on for parties in the maritime sector, which does not change the core of Dynamics. However, they build a customer-oriented 'shell' around it, making it a useful system for companies to manage maritime logistics".
"Ultimate Maritime Logistics is a challenging place to work for me. I especially like the maritime character of Ultimate Maritime Logistics. This industry is new to me, but the logistics is often combined with road transport, in which I have a lot of experience. It gives me a good feeling that my expertise really adds value within the company. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a very nice application to work with, with lots of modern options. Until now, Ultimate Maritime Logistics has focused on terminals and transport by sea. But now Ultimate also has new customers and prospects where road transport is increasingly being managed using their all-in-one solution".
"My challenge is to extend the product of Ultimate Maritime Logistics based on Microsoft Dynamics for the customer with an optimization for the road transport part, pre- and on-carriage. This part used to be a bit 'the neglected child'. During workshops, the customer and I look at the needs and expectations together. Then I will translate this into a possible solution within the Ultimate Maritime Logistics software. The trick is to match this solution to the customer's needs as much as possible. In case of a change request, I make the functional descriptions and once these have been approved by the customer, the programmer will make the adjustments in the system. Working together with the customer to see what is needed and discuss solutions the customer had not yet thought of. For me, that interplay is very nice!"
"I am still studying the maritime part, because that is the main part of Ultimate Maritime Logistics. Maritime transport is often connected to road transport, so it is important that I expand that part of my knowledge. My work now no longer consists only of managing road transport. It is a broad package of activities.
The advantage of working at a relatively small company like Ultimate Maritime Logistics is that there are short lines of communication. If there is something, it can be discussed immediately. The atmosphere during these kinds of meetings is very pleasant".
"Covid made my process of onboarding somewhat difficult, but by now I have spoken to most of my colleagues. Fortunately, working remotely does not get in the way of my work. I drive to the office at least once a week and otherwise work at home. That works fine. The only thing you miss is the contact with your colleagues, the chance to drop in on each other to present something and ask for an opinion. That is a bit more difficult.
Stephan finishes the interview: "I live in Nijmegen and am 49 years old. In my spare time, I like to play soccer. I have been a goalkeeper for 44 years. I train once a week and twice a week I train youth goalkeepers in the age of 6-13. That is mainly my hobby.
Want to know more about how Ultimate Maritime Logistics works? Then read on here.